The rapid rise of Louis Rees-Zammit

GLOUCESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 20: Louis Rees-Zammit of Gloucester Rugby goes over to score his sides fifth try during the Gallagher Premiership Rugby match between Gloucester Rugby and Worcester Warriors at Kingsholm Stadium on December 20, 2019 in Gloucester, England. (Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)

Gloucester have form when it comes to producing exciting wingers. The production line that unleashed James Simpson-Daniel, Jonny May and Charlie Sharples has unearthed a new star: Louis Rees-Zammit.

Who is Louis Rees-Zammit?

Rees-Zammit was born in Llandaff in Cardiff in February 2001. Naturally he began in the Cardiff Blues academy system and has represented Wales Under 18s.

Two years ago he moved across the border to Hartpury College, following in the footsteps of many a breakthrough Gloucester player like Jake Polledri and Ross Moriarty.Β He integrated into the Gloucester academy system like any other player, featuring in the U18 league and the Premiership Rugby Shield.

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Brief appearances in 2019

Whilst all the excitement has come in the past few weeks, Rees-Zammit actually made his first team debut back in April 2019 against Bath. At 18 years and 70 days old, he became Gloucester’s youngest ever Premiership player. Whilst this may have been because Gloucester were light on backs at this time, clearly Rees-Zammit was also selected on merit.

At the start of the 2019/20 season Rees-Zammit started both Premiership Cup matches at Kingsholm and scored a try on each occasion. Gloucester have long been keen to blood youngsters in this competition and it has been the launchpad for Louis Rees-Zammit this season.

First team breakthrough for Rees-Zammit

Ollie Thorley and Tom Marshall have largely been John Ackermann’s first choice wings this season, but squad rotation has seen Rees-Zammit feature in Gloucester’s last six games.

This includes all four Champions Cup matches, with three starts and a substitute appearance against Toulouse. He was handed an early Christmas gift by Danny Cipriani against Connacht at home but it was in the return fixture that heads started to turn.

His pace, power and offloading ability created a try for Lewis Ludlow that was unsurprisingly voted Try of the Round. Check it out below.

Back into Premiership action, Gloucester was labouring against Worcester Warriors an hour in. Fast forward 20 minutes, and Rees-Zammit had notched two tries and a significant assist. Not bad for a youngster who is still yet to earn his blazer.

Future Welsh International?

The big question for Gloucester fans in recent weeks has been around Rees-Zammit’s international allegiance. The good news for those to the West of the Severn Bridge is that he is very firmly Welsh.

With Six Nations squad announcements not too far on the horizon, there have inevitably been calls for his inclusion into the Welsh squad. After only seven senior starts, this seems premature. This is not to say he won’t earn international caps in the future, but there is no rush for top honours just yet.

Louis Rees-Zammit has the number 14 shirt nailed down for the moment. Also, he evidently has the full support of his Head Coach. As a result, surely, his academy contract will be upgraded sooner rather than later.

Is he on Wayne Pivac’s radar? If not now, he soon will be.

 

Main image credit: Embed from Getty Images

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